I wish this paper held more meaning or why income tax should be abolished

self employed canadian income tax preparation

Last night I began the task of sorting all my papers from 2010 into piles.

There are shipping cost piles, art supply piles, utility bill piles, packaging supply piles, energy pile, gas pile, two insurance piles, an oil pile, cleaning supply pile, mortgage pile, car cost pile, an office supply pile, printing supply pile, sale piles, room rental receipts, local sales piles, an advertising pile, a personal pile and these piles don’t include the copious amounts of online presence, fees, hosting costs, contracts or sales on the web piles.

Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed with the paperwork from operating two businesses and at a point where I feel like writing to the Government of Canada OMG wait… it’s now the damn Harper Government and demanding that poor people shouldn’t have to provide proof of income in fact no one living in Canada should have to provide proof of income. If they want to know how much money someone earned then they can come and do all the paperwork for me as I can barely afford to buy food right now let alone take time away from working to prepare my tax return.

Have you ever seen that New Brunswick social services commercial where the lady has to choose between eating a can of food or paying her rent? I’m in that situation and it has nothing to do with overspending, not budgeting enough for this or that, not working hard enough or making bad decisions with my money. It has everything to do with getting sick at an inopportune time, renting to an idiot last fall and not qualifying for health insurance, one bad art sale where I earned one third of what I earned the year’s previous sale, being single with no children in Canada combined with dramatic increases in the cost of food, home insurance and high rises in the general cost of living over the last two years.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. I earn barely enough to survive. And right now, I’ve gone through all my pennies. I need to laugh. Haha! It’s not all doom and gloom.

People who are employed and receive a T4 from an employer and who complain about taxes have it easy at income tax time. I’m not saying paying taxes are easy… all I’m saying is that you do not have the tremendous amount of paper work that someone who is self employed has. Please don’t ever complain about having to prepare your simple income tax forms. I know the difference as I used to work for somebody else too.

Self employed people in Canada have it the roughest. Self employed poor people have it even rougher. I have the same amount of income tax paperwork to do as someone who runs a large company.

And I’m not angry at anyone. I made these life and career choices. Really, I’m trying to find the positive in this. I’m trying to find the courage to overcome this. I even thought about getting a job, any job, and seriously looked for one in January and February but it’s not enough money to even make a difference so I worked very hard and got one room rented to a nice man and have another room rented for next month to someone who lived here last year. and each of those men will be here through to the Fall of the year. Those two room rentals pay me what I’d earn working at a part-time job. And room rental is a part-time job. I can’t count how many people say I’m lucky having the rental income… where is the luck in this? I work at it and clean those rooms and give up my privacy in exchange for money.

On the other hand, I get to have wonderful people to share my home with which is socialization that I so desperately need. It keeps me happy and keeps me going and in a weekly cleaning routine. I’m generally happier with people living in my home. And that in turn allows me to think more clearly and do the (tax) things that under Canadian law I must do.

I also know the bad times don’t last forever and that there is always a silver lining or upside to the downside. I have never asked for nor applied for a government handout, I’ve never applied to help pay for my health-care costs or housing. Maybe I’m too proud or maybe I’m just stubborn. I miss having the safety net of Employment Insurance and even though they’ve opened up to allow self employed people into the EI program… it won’t work for me as the income I earn from room rental will cancel out any benefit that I’d receive when underemployed, sick or pregnant. My life is a catch 22.

I do beleive things are changing though as my health improves ever so slowly. I hadn’t realized how bad I actually was until five or six weeks into taking Synthoid did my body and mind go “This is what I’m supposed to feel like and how did I even manage before?”.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get the latest round of blood test results. Sadly, I’m feeling as low as I did in early January, meaning I’ve likely plateaued on the Synthroid and need the dose increased.

Anyhow, this is what I’ve been up against over the last five months. And everyday I’m grateful for family and friends both on and offline who provide the positive energy I need to keep going and finally rise above and overcome this mess. Thank you, all, for that.

And keep in mind that income tax was only created as a temporary measure to pay for the wars and now that war continues against the disappearing middle classes and poorer classes in Canada.

And it makes me laugh because even Missy the cat is shaking her head in disgust sitting on the paperwork. ;)

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11 thoughts on “I wish this paper held more meaning or why income tax should be abolished

  1. Hi Jess,
    I’m cringing at all that paperwork knowing that i have the same task ahead of me. I started off at the begining of the last financial year being organised…it lasted two months and now its all stuffed in a draw waiting to be sorted. A little each day and you’ll eventually get through, its always difficult when your feeling unwell, i know as i suffer from depression. I just try to keep chipping away at things and i usually get there. Over here in the UK things are financially tight also, sales have dropped as non essentials are the 1st to be dropped. There’s one thing, when your on the bottom there’s only one way and that’s up. Take care and get well x

  2. Jess,

    I agree 100% with you. I was doing the same thing last night in my dining room kicking myself for not being more organized from the beginning of the year! My cat Sasha sat on top of a pile while I also laughed. I hope things get better for you. Maybe this will make you smile as well…I bought some of your fish prints over a year ago that make me happy at times such as this one. Your work is amazing and as a fellow artist myself I feel confident saying that eventually it will stop pouring rain and something good will happen :)

    Mariel

  3. Things aren’t any better here in the U.S. I have been procrastinating getting my paperwork together to do the spreadsheet my accountant requires before I can make my appointment to do my taxes. All this work just to give up more money. It’s a racket!

    Hopefully things will ease up for all of us this year!! Hang in there! :)

  4. Since I started doing my own taxes in university, I’ve often wondered what the point of us – the lowly citizen – doing our taxes if all we do is send it off to CRA to have them do them again. Or, at least, that’s the way it was back in the days before NetFilie and you had to send every slip of paper to Revenue Canada after you’d filled out your forms.

    This is going to be my first self-employed tax year. I have no idea what to do beyond sort all my paperwork. I’m not sure if I’m claiming my daughter or my partner is, or even if I’m being claimed as a dependent. But whatever happens, I know that $1,700 of whatever either of us gets back goes right back to the government, thanks to an incorrectly checked box on last year’s tax form.

    Long story, short… I share your pain. :)

  5. I am really sorry to hear of your hardship. I do have a job but I am in much the same situation so I can sympathise. I wanted to buy one of your calendars but funds were and remain too tight to mention. Hard choices are something I am familiar with on a daily basis. I have not yet taken the step to give up my privacy for money but it is an option that my friends suggest. I really hope things get better for you very soon especially with your health as without good health you can’t work and earn as much as you would like. I admire your work and am inspired by you and what you have achieved.
    Another suggestion I was given the ther day may also be something you’ve considered… how about a donate button on your blog?

  6. Taxes. Oh, yes. I have to do it to but for two years. Think i will have some fun too but my problem is i don´t have a cat that will make me smile like yours did.
    It does not matter if you are here in Germany or in Canada it is always the same shit.
    For the last months live was pretty hard for me because last year i got a new job but had to quit it because my boss didn´t pay me. He still owes me about 2000 Euros and i do not know when i will get the money. Last month i got some problems with my room because i could not pay.
    At the moment i have a part time job in my old business, live at a friends place for a few days but if all goes well i have a new job in April. I just found a new place to live so things are getting better but i desperately need the money this guy owes me.

    Anyway, when i realized that things began to get worse i said to myself “Hey, get yourself something nice, beautiful or whatever before things are getting really bad. You deserve it after working that hard and getting nothing.” so i ordered one of your prints and even if it is still in his envelope i know that soon it will get a frame and i can look at the wall in my new rooms and say “Hey, i have waited for you and now i can see you hanging here and we are both happy.”

    I hope things will get better for you too much more sooner than later.

    Michael

  7. I realize (on an almost daily basis) how fortunate some of us are to have spouses with employer-based jobs. (and God bless Turbo Tax)…

    Things were pretty rough for us before the holidays though, and I felt terrible not being able to buy the presents our kids wanted because we were saving our pennies for food.

    I’ve had well-meaning folks critisize my decision to remain at home with our children, instead of getting a part-time job. It was painful to expose myself further by trying to explain how my husband’s odd job hours, and the costs (and limitations) of daycare, would mean any employer of mine would need to be extremely flexible. LOL
    We’ve already been down that road… and it wasn’t pretty either.

    I know it doesn’t exactly help, but you are definitely not alone. Everywhere I turn, people are hungry and without work… people are actually picking coins out of the muddy water on the sidewalk now. Even if it’s just a penny… one man’s dropped “spare” change will go into the jar to pay someone else’s rent/mortgage for one more month.

    We can all stand around and point fingers at the spending and saving habits of our neighbors, but we can’t ignore what is happening much longer… not when it begins affecting our friends and family.

    We’ll survive though…. the human race is very resourceful, and you Jess are leagues ahead of the pack. :)

  8. Hi Jess.

    I’ll join the chorus in stating that its hard all around, and especially for anyone who is (1) self-employed; (2) making an income from art. I’m doing the same thing as you, trying to get art sales through my website, and it’s been a tough winter. I have to admit that I generally cringe as we enter winter, knowing there’s always lower sales and higher utilities, etc. And I haven’t even begun to organize for my taxes.

    One of the reasons I wanted to write to you specifically though, is that I’m also hypothyroid and know that a lot of folks don’t do well on the synthetic hormone (synthroid/thyroxine). Docs generally don’t want to prescribe the natural hormone because big pharma has a huge influence over their training. But if you’d like to learn more about natural options check out the website http://stopthethyroidmadness.com. You might be one of the thousands of people who do much better on natural thyroid and other supplements. There’s so much to learn about this, and we all need to be our own best advocate by searching out info.

    Also, kudos for all the beautiful work you create!

  9. Hi Robin… yes, I’ve read that website you linked too. I’ll give it a few more months before making any decisions. I’m still going through the stabilizing process and slowly but surely am feeling better and I hope it keeps on this track.

    Here’s looking to a wonderful Spring and Summer!

  10. AMEN!

    I hear ya girl. Things in the economic arena of my life are definitely in the decline/how low can you go configuration. I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to re-shape my perspectives on money….learning to become more and more frugal and self-sufficient. Every time a person turns around these days it seems like the gov’ment is there with it’s hand out in your face claiming you owe them some of your HARD earned casholio. “THEY” certainly aren’t practicing frugality or efficient use of our money though. It sucks and is quite disparaging.
    BEST WISHES from Texas.

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